WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), which represents 1.3 million essential workers in cannabis, grocery stores, meatpacking plants, and other essential industries across North America, released the following statement following the recent passage the NAACP’s Emergency Resolution on Behalf of Cannabis Workers and their reaffirmation of previous cannabis resolutions.
UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:
“We applaud the NAACP for passing an Emergency Resolution on Behalf of Cannabis Workers. This marks a crucial step forward in making sure employers and legislators understand the profound impact that a worker-friendly cannabis industry could have on people of color. Cannabis industry workers, like every other worker, deserve safe workplaces and family-sustaining jobs. This is especially true for the formerly incarcerated and others disproportionately affected by the War on Drugs.
“As America’s cannabis union, we again thank the NAACP for this resolution and for acknowledging the importance of cannabis organizing in achieving racial equity and making sure workers’ voices are heard at every level of the cannabis industry.”
NAACP CEO Derrick Johnson said the following:
“As the cannabis industry continues to expand, we must center Black interests for both workers and entrepreneurs, as one of the ways to right the decades-long injustices we have faced at the hands of the ‘War on Drugs’. Over the past several years, the cannabis industry has seen exponential growth and prosperity without progress for Black workers. This cannot continue. The NAACP is committed to ensuring that as this industry grows, benefits to Black workers grow with it. That’s what thriving together looks like.“
The Emergency Resolution on Behalf of Cannabis Workers expresses an intent to advocate for federal, state, and local medical and adult-use cannabis legislation that includes labor peace agreements as a condition of licensure and ensures that all cannabis workers from cultivation to sale to delivery are treated as employees under the NLRA, FLSA and OSHA; including the right to join, form or organize a union.
Labor peace agreements are agreements between an employer and a labor union in which a union agrees not to strike or take similar actions, in exchange for negotiated terms with an employer that better ensure an orderly process for the workers to decide whether to join a union.
The resolution also calls for well-constructed cannabis trainings and apprenticeship programs to help ensure that cannabis jobs go to the formerly incarcerated and communities most affected by the War on Drugs.
The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States. UFCW International represents 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at ufcw.org.